First Visit Instructions
Please contact my secretary prior to your first visit on +61 (02) 8599-4360+61 (02) 8599-4360, to discuss consultation fees and payment options. A receptionist may not be present at the at the time of your appointment. Please take a seat in our waiting room and Dr Gandy will be with you shortly.
When you come for your first visit please remember to obtain and bring the following:
- Referral letter from GP, family physician or another doctor
- Medicare card, DVA card, Pension Card
- Have your Private Hospital Insurance information with you
- Copies of results of X-rays, MRI’s, or CT scan, Pathology Reports etc. and any other relevant information
- List of Current Medications
- Employer’s Letter (if work cover)
- New Patient Form
- What to Expect
- Interpreter Services (Family Member or Friend if required, if interpreter not available)
- Cancellation Policy
Questions to ask your Doctor
Questions to ask your doctor? And things to tell them.
What is the most important thing to tell your doctor?
One of the most important thing to tell your doctor, apart from your medical history, is any specific concerns or fears you may have regarding your condition or treatment. It is normal to be nervous about your health, but it is hard for your doctor to allay your fears or reassure you should you keep your thoughts to yourself.
What are the other options besides surgery?
When surgery is recommended, it is often the best treatment, based on the evidence available. When considering surgery both you and your doctor will balance the risk of surgery against the risk of not having surgery. There may be multiple other treatments available and your own circumstances may mean you prefer not to have surgery.
People decide whether to have surgery or a procedure based on:
- How much their symptoms or problem bothers them
- How likely the surgery or other treatments will help
- Concerns about the risks involved
- How long the recovery period might be
- Whether the surgery or procedure will relieve pain they currently have
- How much pain the surgery or procedure might cause
- Whether they would have to miss work
What if I don't have surgery or a procedure?
Some conditions that are treated with procedures or surgery get worse without treatment; some get better; and some stay the same. If the surgery or procedure is not necessary and your symptoms don’t bother you too much, you might decide to try other treatments.
Are there different types of surgery?
Sometimes a condition can be treated in more than 1 way. Ask your doctor what options you have and what the differences are between them. Below are examples of some of the main surgery and procedure options.
- Open surgery - For open surgery, the surgeon makes a cut big enough so that he or she can work directly on the parts inside your body.
- Laparoscopic surgery - For laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon makes smaller cuts and uses special tools that go inside your body and can be controlled from the outside.
- Endoscopic procedures - For endoscopic procedures, the doctor uses a thin tube with a tiny camera on the end. The tube goes into the natural openings in the body, such as the mouth, urethra, or vagina. These procedures are used to look at or treat conditions of the stomach or intestines (“gastrointestinal endoscopy”), bladder (“cystoscopy”), or uterus (“hysteroscopy”).
What are the benefits and risks of surgery or a procedure?
Every surgery or procedure, no matter how “minor,” carries risks. Make sure you understand what you stand to gain from the surgery or procedure and what you stand to lose.
Here are some related questions to ask:
- What are the chances that I will benefit and how long is the benefit likely to last?
- What are the most common risks, and how long do their effects last?
- What are the most serious risks, even if they are not very common?
What if I want a second opinion?
Do not be afraid to ask for a second opinion. No doctor should ever be worried or offended if you want a second opinion. In fact, any doctor should be willing to help you find the best surgeon or interventionalist to suit your needs.
The interaction between a doctor and patient is a relationship and sometimes relationships are hard to mature or breakdown through no fault of either party.
What type of anaesthesia will I need and what risks does it have?
Some of the risks of surgery or procedures come from the type of anaesthesia that is used. Even “minor” surgeries or procedures have risks related to anaesthesia.
What will my recovery be like?
People do not always know what to expect in the recovery period after surgery or a procedure. It’s very important to find out ahead of time the answers to these questions:
- How much pain can I expect and for how long?
- How will my pain be treated or managed?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- Will I need help when I return home?
- Will I need to have someone drive me home?
- After surgery or the procedure, will I be able to do all the things I normally do? If not, how long will I be unable to do these things?
- When will I be able to return to work?
How much experience does my surgeon or interventionalist have?
Ask your surgeon or interventionalist, “How many of these procedures have you performed and what training have you received?” Find out, too, if the hospital where you will have surgery or the procedure has a lot of experience handling people having the kind of surgery or procedure you need. You want a doctor and hospital with adequate experience and resources.
How much will surgery or the procedure cost?
In public hospitals, there should be no charge for your procedure. At private hospitals, even with insurance coverage (which may be variable), people often must pay some costs themselves when they have surgery or a procedure. It’s a good idea to find out ahead of time what you might have to pay. If cost is a concern for you, ask your doctor for a quote and whether there are less expensive options that could help you.